At one point or another, we all had that teacher who demanded more and saw something in us that we could not, or would not see, in ourselves. Good enough wasn’t good enough, and the papers were often handed back covered in red ink. It may have been tough then, but that teacher may welcome your thanks today for setting a higher bar. Today is National Teachers Day, a time to look at the profession and the challenges faced by today’s teachers. Dennis Van Roekel is the president of the 3 million-member National Education Association, who hopes teachers will hear from former students today.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

At least 300 teachers and education advocates picketed outside the venue of an education reform retreat in Lake Placid Sunday. They are upset that no educators were participating in the upscale Camp Philos organized by a group backed by Wall Street hedge fund managers with a goal of privatizing education.

New York state education officials have adopted a safety net for teacher candidates who fail a newly required "bar exam."

The Board of Regents on Tuesday agreed to let student teachers who fail this year or next use a passing score on a previous test as proof they're ready to teach.

Before the Regents vote, any teacher graduating college after May 1 was going to have to pass the bar exam — called the edTPA  — to be certified. The test requires video and written proof of a would-be teacher's skills.

Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature approved a plan in the state budget to encourage local governments and schools to merge and share services over the next few years in an attempt to lower property taxes.  But according to a study by school administrators, attempts at school district mergers in recent years have failed, partly because the public doesn’t want them.

Karen Magee: Let’s Hit The Re-set Button

Apr 21, 2014

A brief introduction is in order.

My name is Karen Magee. I’m an elementary school teacher from Harrison, and mom to three great kids — the youngest in high school.  My grandmother, Helen, was a member of the International Ladies Garment Workers … and she always told me that a woman’s place is in her union.  Earlier this month, when I became the first woman elected president of New York State United Teachers, I knew that she would be proud.

  America’s higher education system is failing its students. In the space of a generation, we have gone from being the best-educated society in the world to one surpassed by eleven other nations in college graduation rates.

Higher education is evolving into a caste system with separate and unequal tiers that take in students from different socio-economic backgrounds and leave them more unequal than when they first enrolled.

In Degrees of Inequality, acclaimed political scientist Suzanne Mettler explains why the system has gone so horribly wrong and why the American Dream is increasingly out of reach for so many.

CFES College for Every Student

Education experts from across the globe will gather in the Adirondack hamlet of Essex later this week to discuss how to get more low-income students to graduate from college.


Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says his three school-aged children won't be participating in new testing standards as part of the Common Core exams starting this week. The Republican candidate for governor of New York released a video statement on his website Monday explaining he made the decision along with his wife Sheila, a special education teacher.

Common Core is being implemented in schools across the country, but it has been heavily criticized by many parents and educators.

Lucelia Ribeiro/Flickr

A new report reveals New York State's public schools are the most segregated in the nation.

The report released Wednesday by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles used U.S. Department of Education statistics: it noted increasing segregation in the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany and New York City metro areas.   It found many black and Latino students attend schools with virtually no white classmates throughout New York.

  This week in our Ideas Matter segment - we’ll learn about Mass Humanities’ Traveling Humanities Seminar to Ghana.

In 1957 Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve political independence and according to World Bank figures, Ghana is experiencing one of the fastest rates of economic growth in the world. While these credentials inspire enthusiasm both in and about the country, in the face of inefficient financial management by successive governments, high budget deficits, an electoral system in need of reform, high unemployment, and low education results per investment, the critics are questioning if free and fair elections alone defines Ghana as a democracy. The Mass Humanities Traveling Humanities Seminar looks at Ghana's emerging democracy.